Nikki Behnke

MSPH Program
Advisor: Dr. Jamie Bartram

Nikki has been working with the Water Institute since early 2015, when she joined the Processes for Sustainability of Community-managed Water Systems project as an undergraduate research assistant. After carrying out field research in six rural villages in Zambia, she worked with the team to analyze the data and produce manuscripts, with four papers being published as a result. She contributed to a systematic literature review on post-construction support for rural water systems.

After graduating from UNC in 2016, Nikki moved to Washington, DC for a year to work with Water 2017, a non-profit organization focused on global water security advocacy. Before returning to UNC for her MSPH, she joined the Water Institute’s Baseline Assessment of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) in Health Care Facilities in Malawi project, leading a field research team that conducted quantitative and qualitative data collection in 45 government–run health care facilities in Malawi. She continues to support the team with data analysis and manuscript writing.

Nikki’s master’s research is focused on environmental health of forcibly displaced populations. She is leading a systematic scoping review that has split into three papers—one for each UNHCR phase of displacement (emergency, mid-term, and protracted). During the summer of 2018 she worked in Jordan with World Vision to conduct qualitative research on the sustainability of WaSH and waste management services in Azraq refugee camp. Since beginning her master’s program, Nikki has been taking Arabic classes in addition to her MSPH coursework and research.

Nikki is graduating with her MSPH in May 2019, and is seeking opportunities related to WaSH and displaced populations—particularly those related to research, project implementation, or monitoring and evaluation. She is especially interested in opportunities with a focus on the Middle East.

Master’s Thesis title: Moving from emergency response to sustainable development: the evolution of WaSH and waste management services in Azraq refugee camp, Jordan

Profile Information
Selected Projects
Selected Research Products
  • Post-construction support models to improve rural water service sustainability: a systematic review. Miller, M., Klug, T., Cronk, R., Kelly, E., Behnke, N., & Bartram, J. (n.d.) Under review at Science of the Total Environment.
  • Environmental health in protracted displacement: a systematic scoping review. In submission to Global Environmental Change. Behnke, N., Cronk, R., Banner, B., Cooper, B., Tu, R., Heller, L., & Bartram, J. (n.d.)
  • Energy access in Malawian health care facilities: consequences for health service delivery and environmental health conditions. Reuland, F., Behnke, N., Cronk, R., McCord, R., Fisher, M., Abebe, L., Suhlrie, L., Joca, L., Mofolo, I., Kafanikhale, H., Mmodzi Tseka, J., Rehfuess, E., Tomaro, J., Hoffman, I., & Bartram, J. (n.d.) Under review at Health Policy and Planning.
  • The Implementation of Environmental Health Policies in Health Care Facilities: The case of Malawi. McCord, R., Cronk, R., Tomaro, J, Reuland, F., Behnke, N., Mmodzi Tseka, J., Banda, C., Kafanikhale, H., Mofolo, I., Hoffman, I., & Bartram, J. (n.d.) Under review at International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health.
  • Improving environmental conditions for involuntarily displaced populations: water, sanitation, and hygiene in orphanages, prisons, and refugee and IDP settlements. Behnke, N., Cronk, R., Snel, M., Moffa, M., Tu, R., Banner, B., Folz, C., Anderson, D., Macintyre, A., Stowe, E., & Bartram, J. (2018). Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development.
  • Seasonality, water use and community management of water systems in rural settings: qualitative evidence from Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia. Kelly, E., Shields, K.F., Cronk, R., Lee, K., Behnke, N., Klug, T., & Bartram, J. (2018).  Science of the Total Environment.
  • The role of social capital and sense of ownership in rural community-managed water systems: qualitative evidence from Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia. Kelly, E., Lee, K., Shields, K.F., Cronk, R., Behnke, N., Klug, T., & Bartram, J. (2017). Journal of Rural Studies.
  • Water system hardware and management rehabilitation: qualitative evidence from Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia. Klug, T., Shields, K. F., Cronk, R., Kelly, E.R., Behnke, N. L., Lee, K., & Bartram, J. (2017). International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2017.02.009.
  • Resource mobilization for community-managed rural water systems: evidence from Ghana, Kenya, and ZambiaBehnke, N. L., Klug, T., Cronk, R., Shields, K. F., Lee, K., Kelly, E.R., Allgood, G., & Bartram, J. (2017). Journal of Cleaner Production. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.04.016.
Email: Nikki Behnke